* Posts by Christine Munro

10 posts • joined 21 Oct 2014

Coding with dad on the Dragon 32

Christine Munro

Fond-ish memories of my Dragon, which was my first computer in I think Christmas 1982. The other alternatives I considered were a Spectrum and a VIC-20, but the Spectrum had the horrid keyboard and the Vic was getting a bit long in the tooth by that time. The Dragon was a great programmer's machine what with its 6809E and interesting operating systems, though the reality was that the latter in particular needed deeper pockets than my family possessed. So I had to make do with Microsoft Basic (yeah, I really felt the burn from people who had access to the much more advanced BBC Basic) and games that ran in a choice of two rather nasty 4-colour palettes. Some of them were awesome though, such as the Cuthbert games.

It got me on the road to computing, so it was a good investment. My attitude still hasn't changed, I manage to remain entirely ambivalent about whatever I'm using, which probably says more about me being an eternal malcontent than the pros and cons of the Dragon!

Christine Munro

Re: I think your memory is a little fuzzy.

I think the confusion stemmed from the "16K Basic" message that appeared on boot: I recall thinking I'd been swindled out of half my memory first time I turned mine on! But I think MS decided it was a selling point over the standard 8K Basic (the 16K version had all the handy but slow graphical stuff in it, IIRC).

The price was £200 (or maybe £199, as was the fashion). £175 would've bought to a 48K Spectrum with its infamously mushy keyboard.

9 cuffed over £60 million banking scam targeting UK businesses

Christine Munro

Re: Unfortunately

Lets just throw security out the window in favour of marketing eh.

My current "favourite" is Lloyds online banking's new trick of interfering with the logout process: I was quite surprised the first time I logged out and some time later looked back at my screen to see that it was still logged in: instead of doing something sane, there was a cheery message saying, "just a moment! Instead of letting you safely log out, let us try to sell you some shit you don't want." Sure enough, if I clicked back on my account I was still logged in. Although it was just 30 seconds, that's plenty of time for Something Bad™ to happen. I was astonished: seriously, who the bloody hell though that was a good idea? How on earth did it get approved? How come it's lasted for months apparently without anybody saying, seriously guys, that's totally fucking stupid.

I guess banking security continues to be a curious oxymoron.

The Steve Jobs of supercomputers: We remember Seymour Cray

Christine Munro

Re: Memories...

My gf's late father worked at the H-place and there was a whole load of analytical printouts lying around here until recently. I have no idea which system spawned them, though, and they meant little to a random Unix-head who doesn't really want to admit the grade awarded to her physics A-level.

DON’T add me to your social network, I have NO IDEA who you are

Christine Munro

People you may know, or know of, or something

Curiously enough, LinkedIn keeps listing Dabbsy as someone I may know for reasons known only to itself. Unless I nosily looked at his profile once and forgot about it: I may have forgotten, but the social networking sites remember. Forever. eek.

The watts in a box that kept West London's lights on

Christine Munro

Re: "anywhere outside London"

I live in a village somewhere in central England, and it was just our street whose power was cut off after someone helpfully drilled through a power line. In spite of the rather limited impact, within a couple of hours or so an albeit rather smaller generator had materialised to keep the lights on until they could get someone round to fix the cable.

UK official LOSES Mark Duggan shooting discs IN THE POST

Christine Munro

Re: Now let me guess

"The one person who has been suspended is low down the payscale but apparently wrote the data protection policy for everyone? I just can't see how it is one persons wrap."

Yeah, I had that one when Oxford's John Radcliffe Hospital* emailed me the (frankly appalling) response to another patient's complaint in entirely unnecessary detail and presumably did likewise with mine.

When I contacted them, they assured me that the nameless person who sent the email was no longer working for them. Though given that they didn't name them, didn't say why they were supposedly no longer working there and made no reference to confidential medical information being sent using standard plaintext email, in contravention of their working practises, and by people probably not authorised to do so, I don't feel a great deal of confidence as a result of their response.

I did try reporting it to the ICO, who were utterly useless, which is probably why this sort of thing keeps happening and is going to keep happening.

* who are apparently already following an "undertaking" because of previous carelessness with personal information. I'm sure they're quaking in their boots.

Ghosts of Christmas Past: The long-ago geek gifts that made us what we are

Christine Munro

Wow, nostalgia!

Thanks so much for this article! I had quite a few of the things mentioned at one time or another, or at least a close equivalent. Probably the one I got the most enjoyment from was the Science Fair electronics kit, same as the one in the picture. Bit of a shame I didn't progress further with that interest (I was hopeless with a soldering iron, but thankfully that kit had clever springs for holding the wires in place) but had loads of fun while it lasted.

I don't really need any further incentive to fill even more of the house with yesterday's curios, though. :D

Webcam hacker pervs in MASS HOME INVASION

Christine Munro

Re: Not for me thanks....

> "IP geolocation would worry me, not hard to locate someone from IP and getting more accurate all the time."

Google keeps trying to geolocate my IP address with various rates of unsuccessfulness. My static IP has variously been in Maidstone, Manchester, somewhere in Scotland, Hatfield and Norfolk in the past year or two. I live nowhere near any of those places. Not that I've much worth nicking anyway, and any intruder would be savaged by the cat. She can do a serious moult when she wants to.

Mars needs women, claims NASA pseudo 'naut: They eat less

Christine Munro

Re: Not wanting to knock women or men, but

I knew El Reg must serve some useful purpose, and that purpose is reminding me that I need to redo my toenails.

I'm not sure if that's a good or a bad thing.


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